Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


Breakfast With The Master IV:

Language As Music

San Francisco, California, USA

May 13, 2016



This essay, Breakfast With The Master IV: Language As Music, is the third in the fourth trilogy Breakfast With The Master:
  1. Breakfast With The Master IV: Parental Care
  2. Breakfast With The Master IV: Taking The Guilt Out Of It
  3. Breakfast With The Master IV: Language As Music
in that order.
The first trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Conversation With A Laser
  2. Shut Up And Do What You're Doing
  3. Secret Agent
in that order.
The second trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Health
  2. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Finances
  3. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Open
in that order.
The third trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Raw Power
  2. It Works Better As A Possibility
  3. Magic At Heart
in that order.
The fifth trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Breakfast With The Master V: Not Yet Titled (working title)
  2. Breakfast With The Master V II: Not Yet Titled (working title)
  3. Breakfast With The Master V III: Not Yet Titled (working title)
in that order.
This essay, Breakfast With The Master IV: Language As Music, is also the nineteenth in an open group on Language:
  1. Last Word
  2. Speaking Of Freedom
  3. The Transformation Of The World
  4. Constituted In Language
  5. Zen Bland
  6. Source Of Zen Bland: Hand Grasps Itself?
  7. Linguistic Acts
  8. Language: The Scalpel Of Experience
  9. Wordsmith
  10. Source Quote
  11. Being And Acting Out-Here: Presence Of Self Revisited
  12. My Word In The Matter
  13. You Are What You Speak
  14. Residue Of Meaning
  15. The Effortless Breakthrough
  16. The World's Conversation
  17. Read To Us
  18. Everything You Say
  19. Breakfast With The Master IV: Language As Music
  20. Leading With My Word
  21. Language And Results
in that order.




Sometime between laying my knife and fork close together parallel on my now empty omelet plate, dabbing my lips with the paper napkin, and starting into my second cup of coffee, it occurred to me that these annual experiences being in these conversations with him and listening him, aren't unlike the experiences of listening music.

Yet in the interests of being straight with people ie in the interests of maintaining clean distinctions, I've gotten clear it is never a good idea in any conversation to riff  on comparing one experience to any other experiences which we've deemed to be similar to it. Riffing on comparisons only serves to bring the mind to the foreground, which effectively relegates the realm of distinction to the background. And what makes this likely scenario so ... well ... axiomatic, Laurence? It's that "everything is the same as everything else ... except not always"  is the mind's logic system (as Werner Erhard points out). So "language is like music" - that's the realm of the mind; whereas "language is language and music is music" - that's the realm of distinction. In other words, making distinctions is the access to the realm of distinction.

Now with all that said, with that qualifier in place (and certainly now that we're clear about it), saying my experience of being in this annual conversation with him and listening him, is not unlike my experience of listening music, is good enough for jazz  (no pun intended) and here's what I mean by that: music evokes, yes? Listening music is purely evocative. It is our open, unguarded interaction with music through listening which allows it to evoke boisterousness, sadness, happiness, pensiveness, even love and ecstasy etc etc, for us. And it is this evocative property of music ie it's music's power to evoke, which gives language its parallel to it. For the most part, we assume language means talking about  things. However that is only a subset of language, the subset which we refer to (erroneously) in the adage "talk is cheap".

Listen: talk isn't cheap. It isn't. Really. Rather it's we  who cheapen talk. Language is the conveyer of all possible experience. This is the regard in which language is like music. But here's the thing: not everyone is a musician - whereas everyone has language. Furthermore, music may or may not convey transformation. Yet anyone who speaks has the ability to convey transformation. "That is profound!" I muse aloud. "If you're going to exercise your ability to convey transformation" he suggests, "ask yourself 'Is what I'm communicating giving people access to making a difference in their lives, or is it just something I'm fascinated with?'". He never misses anything.

As I sit sipping coffee, listening him, it's clear something else  has become possible here, something else which I get in the same way as I get whatever I get when I'm listening music. It's something which he evokes. And what he evokes merely by speaking, is transformation - pure and simple. He's firing on all eight cylinders, and yet he is not being particularly forceful. He's powerfully expressing whatever he's expressing, and yet he's not being overly emphatic. Through his communications ie given the way he communicates, I get the space  behind it all ie I get the space he really is. And when I get the space he really is I get the space I really am / we really are.

And that's transformation! It's transformation which is evoked as surely and as certainly as listening the Moody Blues Days of Future Passed  evokes a typical working day, or as surely and as certainly as listening Ludwig van Beethoven's Seventh Symphony  evokes the experience of joy and perfection. The only difference is he's not playing an electric guitar nor conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. He's just speaking. Yet it is his speaking which is the conveyer of transformation. He's not just talking about  it. He's generating it ie he's bringing it forth, enlivening it with his language so you get transformed just by listening him. I'll bet you good money if you ask them, it is what both the Moody Blues and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, whose members are all masters of music, will say is their intention too. Really.



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